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Funkstown falls off hit list at wrong time in loss to Mount Airy

July 21, 2010|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent
  • Funkstown's Ty Benson, left, dusts himself off after sliding safely into third base with a triple, ahead of a late tag by Mount Airy's John Mahaffey, during the Western Maryland District American Legion tournament final. Mount Airy rallied late for a 14-8 victory to win the championship.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

MOUNT AIRY, Md. -- The big hits just didn't keep coming for Funkstown Post 211.

Ty Benson had three hits, including a grand slam and a triple, to pace Funkstown, but it didn't get much more on Tuesday in a 14-8 loss to Mount Airy Gold Star Post 191 in the Western Maryland District American Legion championship game.

"We played a nice ballclub," Funkstown manager Jeff Williams said. "We had two nice pitchers that hadn't thrown much all year and they did pretty well when we needed them to.

"Our defense was a little shaky. We're just going to regroup and win that second-seed game on Sunday to go to states."

Funkstown's chances for extending its season with an at-large state tournament bid rides on a one-game playoff with the Mountain District (Cumberland area) champion, which will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Williamsport High School.

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Mount Airy (32-8, 21-2) recorded its best record ever in George Richardson Sr.'s 30 years of managing. Mount Airy advances to the Maryland State Legion tournament, beginning July 28 in College Park, Md.

"Hitting the ball was the key to our victory tonight," Richardson said. "Another key was Patrick Darnley coming on in relief and pitching well for us. We hit the ball relatively well. We hit the ball in the situations when we needed to."

Darnley allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings of relief to get the win for Mount Airy.

Jason Driver and Nick Hallis, the heart of Mount Airy's batting order, drove in three runs each. Driver had four hits, while Hallis collected three hits.

Benson came just a double short of the cycle for Funkstown (22-12, 15-9). Benson went 11-for-18 for the tournament (.611).

Funkstown took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Benson scored on J.J. O'Neill's RBI single to right. The second run came on a double play grounder. It was O'Neill's 11th RBI in the tournament.

Mount Airy scored five runs in the third and led 5-2 until Benson slugged his grand slam in the fourth to put Funkstown up 6-5.

Mount Airy scored three runs in the sixth to take a 10-8 lead it never relinquished. Mount Airy added four runs in the eighth to reach the final margin of victory.

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